Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Empanadas de Piña - Pineapple "Empanadas"

Hello everybody! How are you doing? We are almost at the end of our groceries here, we usually go grocery shopping on specific days... and I actually like those few days before we go grocery shopping again because it actually helps me get "creative and inventive" in my kitchen.

If you follow my other blog The Coffee Shop you know that the last dessert I made were those AMAZING Cheesecake Cookie Cups, those I made on Saturday (even though I posted the recipe until Monday) so they were already gone by yesterday (of course I only made 1/2 a batch) so I knew I had to start baking again to have something sweet to go with our "nightly coffee" ... I went to my pantry and I found:

I immediately knew that would be my inspiration for my next dessert... And then I remembered my dad (an expert baker) told me once that he uses canned pineapple slices for his empanadas, he doesn't use jelly because it has too much sugar and that + the consistency of the jelly makes it all caramelize inside the empanada and in consequence you end up with a very hard piece of pastry with nothing in the middle but hard caramel in the internal walls of the empanada... So I thought: That's what I'll make!

Then I also thought I've never actually made empanadas (even when my dad has made THOUSANDS of them) and I don't even have a recipe... I started looking online but all the Empanada recipes I found out there seemed to ask for so many ingredients! (and I was out of some of them), the reviews also made me doubt about making them or not (I didn't want to waste the only ingredients I had) and then it happened! I had the best idea I've had lately! (LOL!) I would make my empanadas with the dough I use for my apple pie! Oh! I was so excited! I thought it would work out! then I checked my pantry again... and I didn't have shortening! I usually use 6 tbsp. of butter and 6 tbsp. of shortening for my pie crust! I was very disappointed, I called my dad (in Mexico) and he told me to use just butter and the dough would be even finer... I went for it and well... These are the results:

I am so happy that these turned out not only well... but REALLY REALLY GREAT! Hubby loves them! And they are very easy to warm-up in the microwave too!

So here is my recipe:

Paloma's Empanadas de Piña:

Makes about 12-14 empanadas

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons butter (room temperature, softened -not melted-)
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water (I used exactly 6)
1 can (20 oz) of pineapple slices (drained)
+ 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 tbsp. of cinnamon for coating.


Mix in a large bowl:
2 cups all-purpose flour
I teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Then cut in using a dough blender (or fork) but not your hands
12 tablespoons butter
  6 to 8 tbsp. iced water (You don't need to mix too much, just until the ingredients have incorporated and you can see a ball of DOUGH forming instead of divided pieces of it)

Your dough should look like this when you are done mixing
Once your dough is mixed and has formed a ball just wrap it in plastic wrap or put it in a ziploc bag getting as much air as possible out of it. Then place in refrigerator for 20 or more minutes.

 In the mean time get your drained pineapple slices and cut it in very small pieces (not so small that is like mush) but just small cubes (you will see the example in another pic below)

Also in a container or big extended plate mix about 1 1/2 cups of sugar with 1 tbsp. of cinnamon (more or less, it depends how much you like cinnamon) and set aside (you will use this to coat your empanadas when they come right out of the oven)

Lightly Grease two baking sheets with butter.

Preheat your oven @375F.

Get your dough out of the refrigerator (after the 20 mins) and make small balls (1" diameter) with them, flour a smooth surface and roll each ball out with your rolling pin until you make a kind of "small oval tortilla" (about the size of your hand) and fill it with the pieces of pineapple. (about 3 tsp more or less) just making sure that there is enough space for you to fold the empanada and "seal the edges" (to do that just press with your fingers) and then press with a fork on the edges. (This also makes them look nicer) Use your fork ONCE or TWICE (only) to make little holes on top -center- of the empanadas just to let the steam out so they don't burst while baking.

Place your empanadas on your baking sheets and bake for 9-10 minutes, open the oven and with a spatula quickly turn your empanadas so they bake on both sides, bake for an additional 5-7 minutes. Get out of the oven and immediately transfer to your container with the sugar/cinnamon mix. (use a spoon to pour the mix all over them making sure they are all perfectly coated) shake a little bit to remove the excess and transfer to a plate or wire rack so they completely cool off (you can eat them warm, be careful because the filling is REALLY REALLY hot)



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